Join the experts at HudsonAlpha for an immersive dive into bioscience research topics and hands-on learning. The BioSkills courses will provide students the opportunity to utilize cutting-edge technology and equipment to explore the foundations of lab techniques and experimental design.

BioSkills courses were designed for 9-12 grade students to provide an opportunity to learn biotechnology techniques and concepts. Each course is unique and will focus on a specific set of skills and concepts.  Small class sizes will allow each student to have an in-depth experience as they use tools, equipment, reagents and materials commonly found in top-tier research labs. The courses begin with foundational concepts and build to include techniques commonly utilized in college and graduate-level programs.

HudsonAlpha BioSkills Courses will provide students with

  • Advanced laboratory experience and skill development
  • Personalized instruction from the expert educators at HudsonAlpha
  • Access to top-quality equipment and materials
  • Hands-on laboratory experience with model organisms not typically available in high school science labs
  • The opportunity to build STEM skills as they advance through the courses

The BioSkills program is a great opportunity to enhance science classes with advanced hands-on lab experience. Each BioSkills course will take students on a journey into the concepts, methods and tools that facilitate scientific discovery in professional research labs, such as those at HudsonAlpha.

The wide range of topics allows students to choose courses that focus on their interests while developing experience and skills that will help them advance their scientific knowledge and prepare them for STEM-related career paths. Related career opportunities include scientist, engineer, medical fields, computer programming, environmental scientist, biochemist, statistician, dentist, data scientist and more.

BioSkills courses are currently offered during the academic year and are perfect for homeschool students and groups, private school classes, or other students with a flexible schedule.

Sharpening Your BioSkills

3 hour course (1 day)

Cost: $45.00* Will receive a one-time-discount code for $45 off a future advanced course

*Prerequisite for other courses (Biotechnology Skills – Level 1 may also serve as the prereq)

Students will focus on learning aseptic techniques (processes to prevent contamination), lab safety, and micropipetting. This prerequisite will prepare students to step into the other courses and get right into the experimentation and science because they will have mastered the basic lab techniques to help ensure successful results.

Fall 2022 Course Offerings:
  • Wednesday, August 24: 9 am – 12 pm
  • Monday, August 29: 1-4 pm
  • Wednesday, Sept. 28: 1-4 pm
  • Wednesday, Oct. 12: 9 am – 12 pm
  • Friday, Nov. 4: 1-4pm

Biotechnology Skills – Level 1

10 hour course (5 days, 2 hours per class)

Cost: $150.00

*This satisfies the prerequisite. Sharpening Your BioSkills is not required.

Have more time? Want more than the basics? In addition to the techniques taught in Sharpening Your BioSkills, this in-depth prerequisite course will teach students relevant lab math, how to make solutions and media, and how to culture bacteria. These skills will help prepare students for more advanced lab courses.

Fall 2022 Course Offerings:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 7, Friday, Sept. 9, Monday, Sept. 12, Wednesday, Sept. 14, and Friday, Sept 16: 9 am-11 am
  • Monday, Oct. 24, Wednesday, Oct. 26, Friday, Oct. 28, Monday, Oct. 31, and Wednesday, Nov 2: 11 am – 1 pm

Bioinformatics – Level 1

10 hour course (5 days, 2 hours each class)

Cost: $145.00

No prerequisite required. No programming experience required.

Bioinformatics is the use of computer technology to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information. Numerous careers in STEM fields incorporate these computational skills, yet few courses are offered in high schools and colleges to introduce this field of study. This course will spotlight the vast possibilities in bioinformatics by leading students through a series of activities that will incorporate the use of public databases and online software tools to analyze biomedical data. Students will learn to identify unknown DNA sequences, build 3-D protein models and analyze genetic data using the same tools used by research scientists.

Fall 2022 Course Offering:

  • Monday, Oct 10 – Friday, Oct. 14: 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Genetic Engineering – Level 1

12.5 hour course (5 days, 2.5 hours per class)

Cost: $175.00

*Prerequisite course is required

What is genetic engineering and how is this technique used? In this offering, students will perform a series of steps to create a new DNA molecule carrying genes of interest. Once inside a bacterial cell, these genes will produce a fluorescent protein that students will purify and take home as a souvenir! This activity will help students understand what genes do and how they can be manipulated by genetic engineering, exposing them to common processes in research labs.

Fall 2022 Course Offerings:

  • Monday, Oct. 3 – Friday, Oct. 7: 9 am-11:30 am
  • Tuesday, Nov. 8, Thursday, Nov. 10, Monday, Nov. 14, Wednesday, Nov. 16, and Friday, Nov. 18: 9:30 am – 12 pm

Bacteria and Beyond

12.5 hour course (5 days, 2.5 hours per class)

Cost: $175.00

*Prerequisite course is required

Bacteria are the most common and numerous organisms on the planet. They are also widely used in laboratories. In this course, students will learn how to grow various types of bacteria and use techniques to count, classify, and determine their cell shape and arrangement. Students will also learn the four distinct phases of growth by generating a growth curve using a spectrophotometer and spreadsheet software.

Fall 2022 Course Offerings:

  • Monday, Sept. 19, Wednesday, Sept. 21, Friday, Sept. 23, Monday, Sept. 26, and Wednesday, Sept. 28: 9-11:30 am
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29, Thursday, Dec. 1, Monday, Dec. 5, Wednesday, Dec. 7, and Friday, December 9: 9-11:30 am

The Impacts of Yeast Genetics

12.5 hour course (5 days, 2.5 hours per class)

Cost: $175.00

*Prerequisite course is required.

Yeast are more than just bread makers – these simple eukaryotes make big impacts on science and our understanding of human biology every day. In this course, students will use the power of yeast genetics to visualize the central dogma of biology at work, where DNA instructions are converted into a functional product. The course will also have students explore the cell cycle that controls growth and development, and begin to understand the deep connections between humans and these fantastic fungi.

*No course offerings in Fall 2022 

Exploring Plant Genomics

12.5 hour course (5 days, 2.5 hours each class)

Cost: $175.00

*Prerequisite course is required

Why do some plants flower only at night? Why do leaves change color in the fall? Interested in understanding plants at the genetic level? In this course, students will perform several molecular techniques like DNA extraction, restriction enzyme digest, PCR, and gel electrophoresis to explore the effects of genes and gene expression on plants, while also mastering college level laboratory techniques.

Fall 2022 Course Offerings:

  • Monday, Oct 3 – Friday, Oct 7: 1pm – 3:30pm

Genetic Engineering – Level 2

12.5 hour course (5 days, 2.5 hours each class)

Cost: $175.00

*Prerequisite course of Genetic Engineering – Level 1 is required

In this sequel to Genetic Engineering – Level 1, students will dive more in depth by identifying an unknown plasmid. Genetic engineering, molecular biology, and plasmid mapping skills will be utilized to generate your own unique recombinant plasmid, replicate it in bacteria, isolate it, and then determine the orientation of the DNA fragments that it is composed of, using restriction digests and PCR.

Fall 2022 Course Offerings:

  • Monday, Nov. 28, Wednesday, Nov. 30, Friday, Dec. 2, Tuesday, Dec. 6, and Thursday, Dec. 8: 9-11:30 am